Traditionally, Hoppin' John is served in the South at New Year's because the black-eyed peas represent coins—they're meant to herald prosperity in the coming year. Our version, with all its veggies, is a fresher, healthier update. This side dish can be made a day ahead and is, in fact, better after the flavors have had a chance to meld.
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups water, divided
1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
3 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
How to Make It
Sort and wash black-eyed peas; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above peas; soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (through jalapeño); sauté 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in paprika and cumin; saute 1 minute. Add peas, water, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), stirring to combine. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until peas are tender. Discard bay leaf.
Combine 1 cup water and rice in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 12 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Fluff rice with a fork, and stir into pea mixture. Top with green onions, if desired.